30 Dec 2013

All Seeing, I

A camera tells
much about people who fall
under the gaze of its eye,
but he who clicks the shutter
offers his dreams to the world.

Written for The Mag, where Tess gave us a self portrait of Francis Bacon to play with. I chose to zoom in for this close up...

23 Dec 2013


Words in a tangle
dangle ideas before me.
See them dance?
Askance, I follow their lead,
need to catch them,
stem the flow -
Go slow!
Show  me a kaleidoscope
hope of understanding
landing on new ground…
Sounds of words spill
till my ears’
fears of them being mocked
shocks me again into silence…

This has been waiting around for an ending some time  - I think the latest edit works. What do you think? I'll link to IGWRT's for an answer or two! LOL. And by a mere fluke, it has 55 words, which will come in handy for G-Man on Friday...

8 Dec 2013

Fast Food?

When Alfred Hitchcock filmed 'The Birds'
he never guessed just how absurd
this flock of hungry gulls would be;
they left the fishes in the sea
and smacked their noisy, beaky lips
as fingers offered chip-shop chips!

Thanks to Tess and The Guardian for today's Mag.

24 Nov 2013

Should've Gone To Specsavers?

Is it the glare from the water,
or is it the print's far too small?
I cannot make out what the last line says -
I can hardly see it at all!

I probably need to wear glasses,
but you all know what they say about that*-
and I'd hate to miss out on those passes,
should I find me an elegant chap!

*Men don't make passes
at girls who wear glasses.

Thanks to Tess for choosing this painting by John Singer Sargent for her Mag this week.

10 Nov 2013

Love In Print

The camera clicks,
and a memory is caught,
for ever in a moment
of time that's already passed.

And this photo thrives -
until sunlight fades the print,
turns the edges brown
as a dying rose petal
whose life force has been sucked dry.

But inside our minds,
images remain alive,
secure, unchanging,
and ready to sustain us
when love's hunger overwhelms.

From an original negative by Degas, as chosen by Tess for her Mag 193.

4 Nov 2013

Millinery Madness

'If you want to get ahead, get a hat.'
As a sales pitch, I must agree with that,
but this hat looked rather silly
and quite gave me the willies
till spooky wavy lines had graced this face.
Now weirdo hat is not so out of place!

I give you a snippet from the Mag picture which Tess found this week, and which I had fun 'embroidering' a little, in keeping with the macabre subject :-)

27 Oct 2013


The Seed

ever upwards
I climb towards the light
while my roots delve into the earth.
I seek nourishment to sustain my blooms
which must encounter sun's blessing
to complete the circle
of my journey

Here I've used the Rictameter, nine line syllabic form (2/4/6/8/10/8/6/4/2), where each line increases by two syllables, and the first and last lines are the same. For the Mag 191, Tess chose a painting entitled 'Le Jardin' by Max Ernst.

20 Oct 2013

Have a ball, folks!

Mention a ball and my feet will start tapping
as long as there's music - or perhaps some rapping

of words that will set the mind dancing instead -
as long as the language isn't over my head
with modern expressions that don't mean a thing -
and we can carouse till the fat lady sings
an opera aria which will delight
any opera buffs who are with us tonight...

In one corner a Scots man will pipe us a jig,
in another a sailor in full naval rig
will dance us a hornpipe and shiver me timbers
as I ogle his muscles, all salt-flecked and limber
from climbing the ropes of his ship in full sail
as he weathers the storm  in the face of a gale...

Perhaps we'll hear drumming in good Irish style
as we sip on a Guinness and pause for a while
to study the dancers, at this Willow Ball,
whom Tess has cajoled with her ' Come, one and all!'

I've no time for pictures or musical clips
for writing this ditty was enough for my wits
to contend with, this rather grey day in October.
At this part of the evening I'm still fully sober,
but once the old moon stamps its smile on the sky
I'm sure the festivities will make me high!
So raise up your glasses, and let's have a toast -
" To Tess, and her Manor that spreads coat to coast!"

Thanks for the invite, Tess!

13 Oct 2013


waiting just out of reach
for the time when the barrier
will fall...

In life
our worst mistakes
pile up in serried ranks,
sit behind another fence,

They haunt
waking hours
with retrospective shame
until repentant senses crave

For the original picture and more poems, go and visit Tess and her Mag 190.

6 Oct 2013

A Taunting Tanka

"Tick tock" the clock mocks,
"another day you've wasted!
Face my displeasure."
And it whirls its hands faster.
"I will show you who's master!"

Tess and her Mag 189 called forth this flight of fancy, with an image by crilleb50 which I adapted to suit a nightmare scenario. :)

29 Sept 2013

The Artist

This night,
the land is bathed
with scent of coming rain,
storm-chased by wild clouds above
the path.

In awe,
the artist stands
transfixed by the beauty
as he wends his way uphill
to home,

his house
a solid shape
beneath the silhouette
of branches dancing in wind's

One day,
paint on canvas
will imortalise it,
this fleeting moment in time,
this gift

which he
stores in his mind,
ready to begin work
as soon as daylight calls

This week, I've used a detail (colour enhanced) from the Mark Haley image which Tess gave us for The Mag prompt today. It reminds me of a Constable painting...

22 Sept 2013


She embraced love's warmth
and bathed in the afterglow
of its radiance.

If you'd like to see the whole picture by Cesar Santos, visit The Mag, and see who else was inspired by this week's prompt from Tess.

15 Sept 2013

Treasure Map?

From the Mag 185

Shall we toe the line?
These, on paper, make a map
with grids overlaid...

whilst others etched in the past
link those far times with today.
Wikimedia Commons

Thanks to Tess,  this week I read some Wiki background on the magical name 'St Ninian's Isle' and discovered photos of hidden, silver treasures that were unearthed in our lifetime. The one I've posted here had such a plethora of curved and straight lines, that I couldn't help but link it to those on the map, so you could see the connection, too. Enjoy!
Please click on the photo to see the true beauty of the silver work. :)

8 Sept 2013

Purple Thoughts On A Sunday Afternoon

Youth versus age;
weigh them in the scales.

Where lies the point of balance
till the one tips towards the other?

Only watch and wait;
for the scales may yet tip again
and the adult become child
before life reaches its end
and another circle is complete.

I never know what will surface when a  Mag pictures sets me off. Tess gave us one by Norman Rockwell today...

6 Sept 2013

Toad In A Hole?

The IGWRT Toad challenge today has got me hopping to it rather late, but I couldn't resist a bit of playful nonsense to round off the week. Sorry, Fireblossom, but thanks a bunch for the spark which called it into being! LOL

The Inebriated Sherpa
forged his way ahead-
but those who followed after him,
ended up as dead!

Drink and climbing do not mix -
no wonder he got in a fix
when he lead his party up the mountain -
he should have sipped from a soda fountain!

4 Sept 2013

What Our Words Carry

On a good day...

Love flows through the words like a shallow stream through a green meadow; almost invisible, still this stream sings, while its earth-bed of every day is a natural camouflage. Ears play tricks in the dappled sunlight of the thoughts dancing over its surface, and marvel at its unwritten music, its secret beauty.

On a bad day...

Drought sucks life giving moisture from every phrase, and a hard-baked crust cracks and shatters dreams into dust. A desert of loneliness stretches throughout a barren landscape where a mirage tricks the memory into belief of an oasis of affection. Wind flings the whirling sands into the mind's eye which cries for that which might have been.

In the Imaginary Garden for Real Toads today, Peggy asks us to turn our attention to 'Things Carried'. This set me thinking, and I homed in on the invisible things carried by words...

1 Sept 2013

Old Saying, New Take

A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush,
or so the old saying goes,
but why in this picture the bird's on a shelf
while the young lady sits in a tree by herself -
well - I reckon that nobody knows!

Words and picture inspired by Tess and Janie Tomanek at The Mag.

25 Aug 2013


Some children Pass the Parcel
and some Pass their exams,
but ones who've used this 'Passing Place'
belonged to Mums with prams!

Another off-beat Mag from Tess and Steven Kelly called forth this oddity!

18 Aug 2013

Adrift In Dreams

In the moment sleep envelops bodies,
causing them to plummet into night,
floating shapes of random jigsaw pictures
begin to infiltrate the inner sight.
Like boats adrift in dreams sans map or compass,
the journey's never under our control,
for darkness leads all where it will till morning
when daylight lays its claim upon the soul.

Thanks for the inspiration go to Tess and Elena Kalis at The Mag 182.

13 Aug 2013

Good Advice

Dance a fandango
a can-can or a tango
and let you cares go!


Thanks to Tess and Henri Toulouse-Lautrec at Mag 181 for this idea! :)

4 Aug 2013

Blank Page

The paper stares upwards, its pregnant, featureless face begging the artist to capture some character as yet unknown. It yearns for the imprint of pen or pencil, for bold lines to form images on its surface, or for words which will speak stories for posterity to enjoy... 

Only then will the blank page find fulfillment.

Thanks to Tess and M C Escher at Mag 180 for this week's prompt, which, to my amazement, has turned out to contain 55 words. So come Friday, it will be added to G-man's list, as well - make the most from the least, that's my motto...

29 Jul 2013

Is This A Bubble Car?

Dream pictures flicker
across the screens of darkness
while night suggests sleep.

Tess has offered another mind bending picture to get our engines revving for this week's Mag. I have, of course, changed gear, in order to head for the realms of fantasy!

21 Jul 2013

Ghost Rider

Clothes have become an encumbrance, for suddenly Summer's arrived.
This chap, here, has taken a bold stance and a way to cool off he's contrived.

He's waited for moonlight to clothe him in naught but its silvery light,
now he'll hop on his trusty old Harley and disappear into the night.

His skin will appear luminescent, so if people see him flashing by,
they'll suppose he's ghost or a ghoulie, not a streaker who's still a bit shy!

Written for Tess and Andrew Wyeth at The Mag 178

15 Jul 2013


An egg-bound goose had found relief,
but her clutch was stolen by a thief
who saw the eggs were really gold,
and grabbed as many as he could hold.
The laying process had been tough,
but golden nuggets were not enough -
the young lad wanted ingots, see...
How easy for stacking they would be!
He planned to smelt down all the eggs,
and dreamt of this when he went to bed.
But come the morning, when he looked,
he found it was his goose he'd cooked!

A flight of fancy written for Tess and Agustin Berrocal at The Mag 177

30 Jun 2013

Pictures Not Words

No words have come to me yet for Mag 175, where Tess posted an image by Musin Yohan.
Something may occur to me later in the week, in which case I shall add it here. ** (see below!)
In the meantime, I give you the progression of thought pictures which lead to the totally abstract, final offering, where everything has turned upside down, as that way, the colours suggested to me a lightening of the spirit as an escape from the menial tasks of working in the fields.

** I'd hardly clicked on the 'publish' button, when my mind took over from my fingers, and there was this shadorma, waiting to appear. Possibly the act of  not thinking, allowed the new thoughts in!

Spirits lift
towards the heavens
and burdens
grow lighter
as the mind refocuses
in meditation.

23 Jun 2013

Burning Desire

If a chap says "Will you light my fire?"
I'd hope that his thoughts would range higher
than a flame for a fag -
I don't like to nag,
but effects from such smoke can be dire!

Written for Tess and her Mag 174 with apologies to Stanley Kubrick.

17 Jun 2013

A Load of Moonshine

Is what lights this dreamscape scenario! It originated from a colourful painting by Marc Chagall, which Tess chose for her Mag 173 this week.
It put me in mind of something which has been in the news recently and,  putting all the facts together,  prompted me to write the following ditty...

I've been on that space station too long;
though I'm back on Earth, something's wrong,
because now I have found
that my feet leave the ground
each time that I burst into song.

13 Jun 2013

55 Words for Friday

And G-Man

Today the wind has been blustering,
mustering its strength to  huff and puff
our hairdos into new styles never before seen
by man nor beast, each a joke  against nature,
whose tendency would be to let tresses fall
in soft, straight locks, sleek and tidy -
not frizz fuelled spikes which fill us with horror.

12 Jun 2013

Pill Popping?


Like little press studs,
each line of bubble-pack pills
has been popped open;
They marked the days of the week,
no need for a calendar.

9 Jun 2013


does a lock keep
you in, or others out?
Perhaps the answer lies within
the key.
of posession
belongs to he or she
who has sole rights of ownership...
of course,
the locksmith made
his choice by providing
more than one of these magic tools.

Three cinquains locked together for Tess and her Mag 172

2 Jun 2013

Wake Up Call

Liquid notes
fly up to heaven
and the wings
of song lift
the spirits of all who hear
this day's dawn chorus.

Thanks to Tess at The Mag for giving us a picture by Morris Graves , from which I took this section to use as inspiration.

26 May 2013


illuminate night
with their song
while moths dance,
enchanted by star-bright notes
which fill the darkness.

Thanks go to Tess for a black and white image on the Mag,  entitled Ponytail, by Last Extra, in which I endeavoured to instill a little colour, if not music, for this simple shadorma - an unrhymed verse form of 3/5/3/3/7/5 syllables.

But then I looked again at the original photo
and decided to have another go at a smoke related offering, even though I have never had a cigarette in all my life, I can see it as a metaphor for love that's gone up in smoke!
But I did need to look at it the other way up...


A fag end of a day;
black thoughts curl away
and leave charred
remains. It's hard
when love goes wrong
and its song
in wisps
of smoke which leave
eyes stinging. We've
come to a point where it
makes sense to quit...
but they don't make patches
which match
love's affliction;
a different addiction.

19 May 2013


Life force
from gold petals
spawns fairy-clock seeds
in clusters, waiting for a waft
of wind.

some flower whorls
are harvested instead
by a maker of wine-heady

Its taste
will please the tongue,
but maybe not the head.
If taken to excess, beware
it's strength!

Cinquains to tell it like it is for Tess at the Mag 169, where she featured Lighthouse Dandelions by Jamie Wyeth from which I took this snippet for inspiration.

12 May 2013

Sci Fi

from another world;
distant sun.

The photo by Togan Gokbakar which Tess chose for her Mag 168 sent me off on an artistic trip! LOL. Thanks, Tess!


Kim, with Real Toad's mini Sunday prompt shot me back to my earliest days, and thanks to an eBay photo, I've even been able to show you the kind of thing that caught my attention, in my Aunty's bedroom way back when...

A flower decked flask prompted me
to ask " Auntie Glad, what's in there?"
and she placed it in my hands, saying
 " Pull out the stopper, and see.
But take care!" 

Around it, bands of green and brown
topped painted flowers and leaves,
and I opened it and breathed in the scent
of Devon Violets for the first time.
I wished it had been mine!  But from that day,
the perfume and colour found its way into my soul.

5 May 2013


Voyage of Discovery

Bare bones lightning sketch,
tree branch arms;
face in focus.

Sky eats hair,
devours softer beauty,
leaves stark silhouette unsexed.


Uncomfortable wake of abandonment
follows artist on imagination's ocean
as her ship sails.

When I saw this Mary Cassatt's painting which Tess chose for her Mag 167 I was  overwhelmed by a sense of 'something not quite real' - possibly created in part by the title.  If it had been called 'Le Spectre de la Rose' after the ballet by that name, it would have caused me no problem. But 'Young Woman Picking The Fruit Of Knowledge'? That disturbed me. Hence my strange, not-quite-real-non-poem, poem for today.


30 Apr 2013

A Fond Farewell

"Goodbye" to April - soon "Hello" to May!
We've come to the end of a poem a day -
that NaPo - type madness which kept us at work
with imperative dictates we didn't dare shirk.

Some followed prompts found in Blogland at large;
some allowed random ideas to take charge.
But whatever the source, the outcome was plain,
a poem's a poem, some kind of word game.

A writer will play it with ardour and zest
till he finds that one word which surely is best
to convey his intention, pass on his thoughts
to the reader whose kind approbation is sought.

Though that's not the whole reason we pick up a pen,
or dash to a keyboard to pound it again;
when our inspiration comes from the muse
who prods us to action, we've no time to lose.

We have to obey such a summons, 'tis true -
what else could a dyed-in-the-wool poet do?

29 Apr 2013

# 29

Before The Future

Poets were called to arms;
NaPoRiMo beckoned them on April Fool's Day.
Tomorrow pens will run dry.

An exceedingly apt prompt over on Haiku Heights was too good to pass by this morning! We've nearly made it, folks!

28 Apr 2013

# 28

Kerry of Real Toad's fame, set us searching for our favourite quote from Harper Lee's wonderful book "To Kill a Mockingbird." For added inspiration, she include a still from the film, and how could I resist an excuse to look at Atticus Finch again? :) This was my choice:-

 “People generally see what they look for, and hear what they listen for.”

The day is dull and overcast;
rainclouds fight the sun.
But I look and see a rainbow -
aren't I the lucky one?

The traffic thunders on the road -
but is that all I hear?
No! Close by a blackbird trills
its song that I hold dear.

It's all about perception;
this point of view we choose,
and if we seek the positive,
what do we have to lose?

Why, just the stress and anguish
that pessimism brings
to you, or me - or even
to 'cabbages and kings!'

With thanks also to the Walrus and the Carpenter, to whom Lewis Carroll gave a wonderful perception all their own. :)

And NaPoRiMo has definitely got me going, for there's a second write for today here!

27 Apr 2013

# 27

Before The Front Door

A living carpet overspills this path.
Leaves speckled like a thrush's breast:
flowers - pink, to blue, to shades of purple  -
grace each stem: Pulmonaria.

Its common name of lungwart dis-enchants
me. But the humble beauty of this plant's
soft, multi-coloured shades is paramount,
this lazy, sun-filled afternoon in April.

Making a scalloped edge to the old bricks,
it provides a guard of honour for people
approaching the stained-glass panelled door
of this elegant, Victorian house.

Inside, a welcome will await those visitors
who pass the flowers by, unseeing...

26 Apr 2013

# 26

Slugs V. Daffs

When slick-faced, coal-pit slugs abound
using instinct's guile to nibble
and to help create the daffodils' demise,  
inhale with sadness fragrances
left scenting springtime air,
and store them in your memory,
a treasured, silent prayer.                    

Though yellow petals lose their fight,
with buds and blooms destroyed,
green leaves will feed the swelling bulbs,
their energies employed in conservation   
till next Spring, when flower blooms
will live again, a second generation...

25 Apr 2013

# 25

What A Carry On

The thirty days in April
must have gone to all our heads -
"Go write a poem every day!"
was what somebody said.
But I wish I'd added on this thought
"What could we do instead?"

"Most anything" did someone say?
Yet here we are, day after day
churning out poetic verse -

what a carry on!

For some, it's gone from bad to worse
but at least we'll soon be done.
So in the meantime, I will say
"Come on folks. Carry on!"

Although I had already scheduled a post for this morning, an unexpected discovery of the words 'Carry on' at Poetry Jam, had me rushing to slot in this early morning offering - no offense meant, fellow NaPoRiMo fanatics! LOL

24 Apr 2013

# 24


that nothing lasts for ever;
goodbye to childhood.
But in welcoming changes
all things become possible.

A  Tanka written for IGWRT's prompter today, Susan.

23 Apr 2013

# 23

I spotted a prompt at We Write Poems, thanks to a link in Viv In France's blog, and as they were asking for something silly - well - 'nuff said...

 A Kind Of Iffy Poem

If I were silver, and so was my tree,
I'd be a bell bird - also silver you see...
My sonorous notes would daintily ring
as tumbling carillons I'd choose to sing
to welcome each new day and say 'Hello, Sun'
then I'd croon him a lullaby when day was done.

With a ting and a ling, or a ding and a dong
my bell chords would echo and sound all day long,
'til the people who lived in the house on the hill
would shout out, quite rudely 'Please shut your bill!
From inside, our ears are now ringing as well -
can't you be quiet and give us a spell
of silence, all golden? We humbly request
that you tuck your head under your wing for a rest.'

And now what do I find, but an IGWRT's prompt for a poem to celebrate The Bard! So I've done an additional write this afternoon, just for him - and them! Sorry, Will!


In memory of Shakespeare, here are lines
the like of which his quill pen never wrote.
For now, a fearsome black and plastic board
provides a bard with characters to press
with tender fingertips, no more nor less.
And so come words intended to impress
a modern audience -  a  Blogland crowd,
reliant on technology, and such things
as monitors, plus much beyond the ken
of simple womenfolk , as many men may
state in chauvinistic mode! However,
be that as it may, this tribute in the month
when William breathed his first or last
poetic gasp, I humbly  lay before you.
I implore you to look kindly on my work –
written while more serious employment
I do shirk, forsooth. Impetuous youth!
I jest, of course, for me, a second childhood
is closer to the part of life I live today!

22 Apr 2013

# 22

Thanks to Kerry, and IGWRT's plea that we all work towards a greener and cleaner Earth - this being World Earth Day, apparently- my quirky humour immediately took it the wrong way, and with the help of a wonderful photo by pk-photography.blogspot.com, it gave me the excuse to write a sad apology of a haiku...

Clean and Green, you say.
Perhaps, after a rainstorm,
a caterpillar?

21 Apr 2013

# 21

Haiku Sample

Get your free hugs here!
My special offers are shipped
twenty four seven.

I was sent a request  for one of these via a comment on this post ... No sooner said than done!

20 Apr 2013

Another number 20

Plat Du Jour

Saturday special?
My granddaughters are coming;
favourite menu.

# 20


It's half past one.
Rest will not come
until my skin
has cooled. My shins
while I yearn
for slumber.

A number
of factors
have caused reactors
in my being
to send fleeing
any chance of sleep.

So I creep
a screen
will seem
friendly as I type
this night,
for it 'hears' my words...

But that's absurd...
it has no ears.

Yet it appears
to wait for each
new character to reach
into its mind-set
on this page which lets
me speak,
as I seek...
Or commiseration?

19 Apr 2013

# 19

NaPoRiMo Dilemma

The weekend is coming,
there’s no mistaking that.
Can I pull another ditty
from my thinking cap?

Will Friday be the full stop
where inspiration fails?
If I can’t squeeze another drop,
I might go off the rails

by talking rot, or double dutch
or causing a to-do?
I will not like me very much
and nor, I’m sure will you!

I have my 'silly' head on 
and all it does is play
while all my funny words have gone-
ones like Calloo Callay -

and someone else invented those...
can I invent some more? Who knows!